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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade and opening calls:
Corn: 1 to 6 cents lower. Futures were weaker overnight amid dollar strength. Nearbys led losses overnight. Corn continues to chop in its consolidation range, with support for March corn at the February low of $6.21 3/4 and resistance at this month's high of $6.52. Focus has shifted to expectations for carryover to build next year thanks to an increase in acreage, although strong demand is tightening old-crop stocks further.
Soybeans: 1 to 2 cents lower. Pressure on soybean futures was limited overnight to profit-taking. The market is working on solid monthly gains -- so far avoiding a traditional February break as traders react to improved export demand and expectations stocks will tighten in 2012-13. March beans are hovering just beneath resistance at the October 2011 high of $12.90. Closes above this level would open substantial upside potential.
Wheat: 4 to 5 cents lower. Wheat was pressured by strength in the U.S. dollar index. Continued concerns about the euro-zone securing the needed financing to avoid debt defaults lifted the dollar overnight. Crude oil and gold futures are lower this morning, which is also weighing on grain futures this morning. Wheat futures are still working off their mid-month low. That support for March Chicago wheat lies at $6.21.
Live cattle: Higher. Futures are called to open higher in reaction to Friday's bullish Cattle on Feed Report. The report showed feedlot inventories slightly below traders' expectations, and reflected a tighter supply of available Placements into feedlots. Cash cattle trade developed late Friday in Kansas at $128 to $129, which is steady with the previous week.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. Lean hog futures are called to open mixed, with some spillover from live cattle expected to limit pressure. Packers saw profit margins deteriorate last week, which is lowering demand for cash supplies to start the week. Still, cash sources say supplies are tighter this week, which is expected to result in mostly steady bids to start the week.